This caterpillar toy can teach kids the basics of programming

Fisher-Price is making the jump into Coding 101 for preschoolers.

 

Selena Larson

Tech

Published Jan 6, 2016   Updated May 27, 2021, 10:02 am CDT

Even preschoolers can begin to grasp the foundations of problem solving and very basic coding concepts thanks to to Fisher-Price’s new toy, the Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar.

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The toy, which debuted at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, is a nifty device made up of detachable segments that each do something different. 

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The segments correspond to the direction or action that the caterpillar takes, like rolling straight, turning left, turning right, and playing music, identified by different colors and symbols as the building blocks that make up the caterpillar. The idea is to get kids to put the segments together to “code” the caterpillar into following the instructions they want.

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It’s not much more than a simple puzzle game, but the directions can help kids grasp the basics of planning and sequencing, who are core concepts in computer programming. Each Code-a-Pillar set comes with eight segments and two targets to encourage kids to figure out how to get from point A to point B. 

The preschool-aged toy will be on store shelves in June and will retail for $49.99, with additional segment packs costing $15 each.

Photo via Selena Larson

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*First Published: Jan 6, 2016, 8:47 am CST